Gone with the Wind is set in Clayton County, GA, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It depicts the experiences of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to come out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman’s March to the Sea.
Gone with the Wind was popular with American readers since its publication in 1936, and as of 2014, a Harris poll found it to be the 2nd favorite book by American readers. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937
Why I want to Read It:
Of all the literature I read growing up and as an English Lit major, Gone With the Wind has always been on my reading list. For some reason I think Carol Burnett’s parody. Every time I would saw it growing up I laughed and thought to myself how prideful. I remember seeing the movie as an adult and it was solidified that it had to go on To Be Read list.
I’m interested in seeing how Scarlett grows over the course of the novel, her determination to survive in the midst of war and everything changing around her, and how she derails her relationship with Rhett. And, I have to see why people say that Rhett and Scarlett are one of the greatest English speaking couples since Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Why banned or challenged?
Critically praised for its thought-provoking and realistic depiction of ante- and postbellum life in the South, it has also been banned for more or less the same reasons. Its realism has come under fire, specifically its realistic portrayal – though at times perhaps tending toward optimistic — of slavery and use of the words “nigger” and “darkies.”
The novel was banned from the Anaheim, California Union High School District’s English classrooms in 1978 for its depiction of the behavior of Scarlett O’Hara and the freed slaves in the novel.
It was also challenged in the Waukegan, Illinois School District in 1984 because of the novel’s above-mentioned use of the word “nigger.”